While our boat crosses the calm waters of the bay in Vela Luka (Croatia) I'm enjoying the view of the stars and the lights of other boats and houses on land. My fellow scuba divers are talking excitedly, for some it's going to be their first night dive and they are nervous. Something I can understand when I think back to my first night dive. I... I'm just quietly enjoying the warm breeze and rhythmic bounce over the waves.
When the boat has come to a full stop at the dive site it's time to gear up. It's a clear sky this evening and the light of moon is more then enough to be able to see. When we are all geared up our instructors give us the last briefing and ask who of us need a torch. Well, I have my own little lamp with me, the Ikelite PCm. A small single led lamp which I use as a back up lamp during my dives in the Netherlands. Looking at the torches they are giving out, I'm guessing that my lamp will be more then a match for theirs.
However I didn't count on the dive lamp of my instructor. He called it 'God's Light' and well... You just don't need that much light during a night dive. The moment he turned his dive light on I knew why he had given it that name. It was as if we were swimming in daylight. It just took all the adventure and fun out of the night dive.
I can't speak for other scuba divers, but for me swimming in the darkness, through the unknown is one of the attractive elements of the night dive. Besides the total different marine life of course! It gives the dive that little bit more of the adventure feeling. But what is a night dive when you carry a lamp with you which turns everything into daylight?
A good dive light is necessary, I totally agree! However is there a limit on how much light you need? Can't say for certain, but if I had to guess this lamp was two times as powerful as my own primary lamp (Mares Eos R10) which is already a 1000 lumen. That would mean he was carrying a scuba lamp of at least 2000 lumen in clear waters.
When scuba diving on wrecks or deeper dives (or the Netherlands) you would need this amount of light and maybe more. However this was a night dive with a maximum depth of 12 meters. For me it definitely ruined my night dive.
In the 'My Stories' series
1. My very first scuba dive in the Netherlands
2. A first dive without a guide
3. My biggest scuba diving mistake
4. Why I love wreck diving
5. What does scuba diving mean to me
6. Scuba diving in an emerald sea
7. The best wreck dive ever!
8. Using my rescue training in practice
9. A drift on the Red Sea
10. My weirdest dive
11. The annoying and dangerous dive buddy